Eid 2018: What is Eid al-Fitr? When is Eid – is it tomorrow?
The Islamic month of Ramadan is coming to a close as Muslims prepare to mark the end of the holy month with the festival known as Eid al-Fitr. But what is the celebration about and when will Eid al-Fitr fall?
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr is the religious holiday which marks the end of Ramadan and a month of fasting for Muslims.
The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.
Eid Mubarak is a greeting and phrase used by Muslims during Eid and means ‘blessed Eid’.
Eid al-Fitr is held at the start of the following month, which is called Shawwall and translates to mean the ‘festival of breaking the fast’. In Muslim countries, it is common for the capitals to decorate their cities with lights and commemorate the end of the holy month.
Children are dressed in new clothes and offered gifts and money to celebrate the occasion.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam – known as Sawm.
The five pillars are the five obligations every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life according to Islam.
When is Eid?
As the calendar is based on the lunar cycle, Eid changes every year and is decided when there is a sighting of a new moon.
The Islamic calendar is different to the widely-used Gregorian calendar, which is determined by the sun.
Islamic dates move back by 11 days each year, so Eid day is not known until shortly before the actual date.
Scholars look for the first crescent of the new moon before sunset on the 29th day of every month – if it is seen, the month ends, but if it is not sighted, the month goes on one more day.
Al Jazeera reported the International Astronomical Centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates expects Eid to be on Friday “in most Isalmic countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar.”
Eid al-Fitr is expected to fall on Friday, June 15, and the holy month of Ramadan will end on Thursday, but this based on the new moon being see on night of June 14, which is yet to be confirmed.
Official Eid announcements are usually made within two hours of sunset because the new moon rises and sets with the sun (or within an hour).
What is Eid al-Adha?
Eid al-Adha is on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.
It is at this time in the Islamic calendar that Muslims from around the world travel to Mecca – the holy city – for pilgrimage.
Muslims should carry out the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime if it is possible.
Eid al-Adha is expected to take place on Tuesday, August 21, however it is not confirmed until the sighting of the moon.